When you lose someone you love are there ever any words anyone can ever say that make you feel better? I don't think so. I think it's just something you have to work out in your own head and heart.
This is one instance when I'm at a loss for words. I feel awkward and inadequate when it comes to saying the "right thing" to someone mourning the death of a loved one.
When a person has been suffering or has lived a long, good life; the loss is bittersweet. There is pain and sadness knowing that you won't be seeing, talking with, living life with this special person for the rest of your life, but there is also a peace of mind, a relief that the person you love is no longer hurting.
For me, that pain trumps the peace for the first few days after the death of a loved one and nothing anyone says to me changes how I feel or how I see things.
This past weekend, my sister-in-law lost her mom to a vicious, hard-fought battle with cancer. There are no words for me to say to her. My heart weeps for her; the pain of losing one's mother is too great to be soothed by words. But even through her own pain and loss, my steadfast, faithful, unselfish sister-in-law is grateful that her mother has now been made whole again and is no longer in pain.
I've written much about death since August of 2011. Our family has experienced a lot of loss this past year. And while I've written about wills and trusts, estate planning, digital legacies and more over the years, I have not discussed funeral planning.
Making Your Wishes Known
I started thinking more about end-of-life provisions after a conversation with a friend. She was telling me how thankful she is that her dad has taken care of all of his funeral provisions and estate planning and took the time to discuss it with her. When the time comes, she and her siblings won't have to worry about figuring out the final arrangements while dealing with their grief and loss.
So, I did a little research, and what I found warmed the heart of this control freak.
I found a way to reach out beyond the hereafter and dictate my last plans; a website that allows me to dictate just about every detail of what happens with my remains and lets me set out exactly what I want said, sung, played, read and done at the service, celebration or memorial of my choosing. I can even write my obituary and upload photos I want my family to use at the service, with the obit, etc. and design my own headstone, if so desired.
My Wonderful Life allows a person to leave letters to loved ones to be received after the person is deceased; list and explain bequeaths; make notes about where important information is located, etc. A person can designate 1 to 6 "angels" to be the "administrators" of the person's "Book" once the person is gone.
The site is password protected and secured with SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) and personal information is encrypted in their database. The information can be accessed by the person with the account at any time to add or change information or the designated angels, upon the death of the account holder.
I love this idea. My Wonderful Life gives each person a chance to express feelings regarding family, death and funerals, etc. without having to discuss this often uncomfortable subject with family and/or friends. Whether someone is 29, 86, 47 or 66, completely healthy, very ill or simply getting on in years, this site allows a person to express thoughts and feelings about death, dying and after death and set out his or her affairs.
Now, to be clear, this site is not meant to replace wills or other legal documents or meeting with an attorney to be sure your affairs are in order, in the legal sense. This website simply allows for more articulation of preferences and feelings and explanations, if needed.
The idea for this website was born from the death of the co-founder's spouse and the need for people to have a place to make these decisions about seemingly mundane aspects of death and the services that followed in addition to leaving notes about various items, relationships, legacies, etc.
So, if you're like my parents who have very definite ideas about how they would like their untraditional send offs to go, this just might be the place for you. Of course, talking to your family members about your wishes, even if you use this website, is still a good idea. Check it out for yourself; it's free to register: www.mywonderfullife.com. Over and out...